Lots of people enjoy going to fee mining sites where you can prospect inactive surface mines, mine tailings, soil, sediments or outcrops and keep any rocks, gems, minerals or fossils that you find. Examples include: Herkimer Diamond Mines where you can search for doubly-terminated quartz crystals, and Crater of Diamonds where you might be lucky enough to find a real diamond.
“Invasive “crazy ants” are displacing fire ants in areas across the southeastern United States. [...] It’s the latest in a history of ant invasions from the southern hemisphere and may prove to have dramatic effects on the ecosystem of the region.” Quoted from The University of Texas at Austin press release.
Since 1972 the “Roadside Geology” series has provided introductory information on the geology of states and small regions of the United States.
The books provide a combination of maps, travel logs, photos and commentary for the geology that can be seen along highways or visited at parks and public viewing areas. They are popular with geologists, teachers, students and others who are interested in the Earth.
The Florida Geological Survey has an informative poster titled “Florida’s Sinkholes”. It shows their geographic distribution, explains how they form, describes different sinkhole types, explains why they are a hazard and explains what to do if a sinkhole occurs near your home.
Did you know that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from any type of subsidence? That includes collapse from sinkholes, oil production, ground water pumping and underground mining activity. Most insurance companies offering homeowners coverage exclude almost any type of geologic hazard from coverage – unless you make specific arrangements to acquire it yourself.
Last week a sinkhole opened beneath a home in Florida while the occupants were sleeping. One man’s bed fell into the sink and the efforts of family and rescue workers were not successful in retrieving him. Now he is presumed dead and demolition equipment is there to remove the structure while the sinkhole continues to enlarge. Injuries from sinkholes are rare but this situation shows how suddenly they can occur.
The folks at MyTopo.com are now printing supersized topo maps; large enough make a huge 8′ x 5′ (or 5′ x 8′) map that will look fantastic on the wall of your office, conference room, lobby, cabin or den. These maps are custom-centered on any location that you pick using their online map-making tool.
We are affiliates of MyTopo.com and receive a commission on sales.
Elkhorn coral and 65 other species of reef-building corals were recently proposed for “endangered species” designation. Researchers are working to understand why these corals are disappearing from the Florida Keys and other locations.
Raven Maps are beautiful examples of shaded-relief wall maps that display the elevation of a state in vibrant colors. These large maps look great in a classroom, den or office. Use one to mark the locations of your work or company.
USGS researchers removed a Burmese python from the Florida Everglades that was 17′ 6″ in length and carried 87 eggs. Pythons have become an enormous problem in the Everglades and probably were introduced there as pets that were set free or escaped.
Kristen Hart, a research ecologist at USGS estimates that there are at least tens of thousands of pythons lurking in Florida’s Everglades. They could be responsible for declining mammal populations in southern Florida.
“Since about 1990, sea-level rise in the 600-mile stretch of coastal zone from Cape Hatteras, N.C. to north of Boston, Mass. — coined a “hotspot” by scientists — has increased 2 – 3.7 millimeters per year; the global increase over the same period was 0.6 – 1.0 millimeter per year.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
Ten years ago a retired navy ship was converted into an artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. An unexpected benefit of the reef is millions of tourist dollars per year from scuba divers.
“The Floridan aquifer system covers an area of approximately 100,000 square miles in Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. Groundwater wells for water supply were first drilled in the late 1800s and by the year 2000, the FAS was the primary source of drinking water for about 10 million people.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
An article on the New York Times website explores the impact of sea level rise on the United States. Coastal flooding is expected to become much more common in the near future and millions of people could be displaced by rising waters. Florida, New York, Loisiana, California and the Chesapeake area are at particular risk.
“Yulee, Florida. Not a place one usually thinks of as an Earthquake Epicenter. But this swampland not far from the Georgia state line is now home to a state-of-the-art seismic station known as 457A.” Quoted from the NSF press release.
“This large Burmese python, weighing 162 pounds and more than 15 feet long at the time of its capture in 2009, was caught alive in the Everglades and was found to have eaten an American alligator that measured about 6 feet in length.” Quoted from the USGS media gallery.